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Hubby’s Birthday Weekend

By 3 February 2015 Eating Out, Food, General, Life, Lifestyle
Hubby's birthday weekend -

Last weekend was hubby’s birthday. He turned 29, so he’s caught up with me for a while! He likes to joke that I’m a cougar, but I don’t think it counts if you’re only three months older! Since his birthday was on the Friday I took the day off work so we could spend the day together.

As it turns out we didn’t really do too much. I had my last counselling session in the morning and then we popped over to his parents so he could blow the candles out on his cakes. I thought it would be a bit weird if we did that at home, just the two of us!

The cupcakes I baked were amazing. I followed a recipe for Cosmopolitan Cupcakes from Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking book. They were orange flavour with boozy cranberries and copious amounts of Cointreau. Not the manliest birthday cakes ever, but they went down very well.

In the evening, we joined my sister and our friends for a birthday meal at a new burger place that has recently opened in Folkestone. Big Boys Fine Burger Company has taken over a building in the Old High Street and it’s a good job we booked because it was packed!

Le Garcon Francais

Le Garcon Francais

This was my choice of burger, Le Garçon Français. It was a 6 oz beef patty with bacon, huge chunks of brie, lettuce and wholegrain mustard in a brioche bun. C’etait delicieux! Sis opted for El Chico Mexicano, which had guacamole, tortillas and chipotle ketchup in, one of our friends had the BBFC Mother Clucker, a burger with fried chicken in it too, and the three boys each chose the signature Fat Boy. Beef patty, pulled pork, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Epic.

El Chico Mexicano and The Fat Boy

For sides, hubby, sis and I shared ginormous onion rings, amazing smoked bacon beans and homemade coleslaw.

Big Boys sides

It was an awesome meal and I was so stuffed but determined to give one of their milkshakes a go. Having told everyone at work that I didn’t like milkshake (forgetting that I’d previously happily supped a KFC Crushem) I realised that actually I love milkshake! But only ones without fake flavours. This one was rather special. Behold, the Bakewell tart milkshake…



From this point I decided that all desserts should actually be liquidised. They’re so much easier to consume! We finished the night with a drink at Wetherspoon’s and were home in bed by 11 pm. It’s a crazy life we oldies lead!


On Saturday we drove over to Canterbury to visit The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge where they’ve just opened a new temporary exhibition about Enid Blyton. Celebrating her life and works, Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts is a wonderful gallery filled with transcripts, illustrations, diaries and even the author’s old typewriter.

I grew up with Enid Blyton, from watching and reading Noddy, to sharing the Famous Five’s adventures and wishing I went to boarding school so I could have midnight feasts and play lacrosse. The exhibition brought back lots of memories, and it was great to see that young children today are still enjoying her books. My only regret is that I’m too big to go down the slide and wear the dressing up outfits!

Unfortunately, there was no photography allowed inside the exhibition so I’ve borrowed the below picture from the Beaney’s Facebook page.

Thank you to Annabelle at Canterbury Museums and Galleries for inviting me along.

We’d booked a table at Pizza Express for lunch but had time to kill so found ourselves in Costa. I also did a little bit of shopping, purchasing a new lanyard for my work pass from Cath Kidston, and of course I had to pop into Lush and grab a unicorn horn bubble bar (because I’d seen them all over the internet and wanted one!) and some solid toothpaste tablet thingys because I thought they’d be handy for when I fly to France in the summer as I’m going hand luggage only. They’re rose flavour so that’ll be interesting!

Gold chocolate!

Gold chocolate!

Massive chai latte


Waiting for pizza

Waiting for pizza

The birthday boy!

The birthday boy!

Emilia pizza at Pizza Express

Emilia pizza at Pizza Express

Canterbury purchases

Canterbury purchases

Obligatory unicorn horn selfie!

Obligatory unicorn horn selfie!


A lazy day for me but hubby went to help his friend give his car a good scrub and polish up. They then both came back for dinner, which was just an easy all in one pan roast chicken pieces with vegetables.

We also watched the BluRay of The Equalizer that I bought hubby for his birthday, which was a pretty good film if a little gory in parts, before watching Top Gear. I made up for all the testosterone by watching Call the Midwife afterwards!

So that’s pretty much my weekend! Hubby had a good birthday now I need to decide what I want for my birthday (my 30th’s in October – eek!) and start dropping some not-so-subtle hints!

What would you want for your 30th birthday? Tell me in the comments below!

Rachel x

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El Cortador Tapas Bar Folkestone

By 3 May 2014 Eating Out, Food, Lifestyle, Restaurant Review
El Cortador Folkestone Tapas Bar

Over the Easter weekend, rather than buying random stuff we didn’t really need, we decided to use some money than my grandparents kindly gave us as an Easter present on treating ourselves to some meals out.

Saturday lunchtime I tried to take hubby into the Lavender Tea House but it’s a bit too pretty for him. He actually said it was for old ladies! Their vintage/shabby chic charm is obviously lost on him. As we wandered down Folkestone’s Old High Street, we spotted El Cortador, the new tapas bar in town. We’ve been meaning to try it since it opened at the end of last year.

El Cortador is a small place with windows looking out on to the high street. Inside is all dark wood, wicker chairs and warm colours. We ordered drinks while trying not to order every dish on the menu!

El Cortador menu

Eventually we whittled it down to 6 dishes and ordered from the very polite waitress who must have thought we were right piggies!

The first thing to come out was the bread and aioli. There’s no denying that we left the restaurant with a little more than a distinct hum of garlic about us! Just as we were dunking our bread into the garlic mayonnaise, out came the plate of manchego cheese and ham. I love cured meat and it goes so well with the tangy cheese. There was even more cheese inside our stuffed peppers. Mmmm…


Queso y jamon

Pequillos Rellenos

Next out was this gorgeous dish of hot, garlic mushrooms. Shortly after came the tortilla laced with chorizo and then the paella mixta.

Setas al ajillo

Tortilla Chorizo

Paella Mixta

All of the food was amazing. So tasty! The service was swift and the prices reasonable. The only other time we’ve had tapas was in Essex so I can’t compare it to the ‘real thing’ but I don’t even care it was so yummy!

El Cortador, Old High Street, Folkestone

Rachel x

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Spicy Valentine’s: Copper and Spices, Indian Restaurant in Folkestone

By 17 February 2014 Eating Out, Food, Restaurant Review
Spicy Valentine's: Dinner at Copper and Spices Indian Restaurant Folkestone.

Yes sorry another Valentine’s Day post! But don’t despair, this one isn’t all lovey-dovey and vomit inducing. No. Instead I’m going to tell you about our scrummy Indian dinner at Copper and Spices. We actually ate there on Saturday 15th as it wasn’t intended to be a special Valentine’s dinner but a family dinner with the in-laws. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to make it so it was just hubby and I.

As it’s a tiny, intimate restaurant with just 6 tables they get booked up pretty quickly. Having left it until Tuesday to book we had the choice of 5.30pm or 8.30pm. Since 5.30 is pretty early for dinner, we went for 8.30. But this is about 2 hours later than we normally eat so it was starting to feel pretty late by the time we left the house. I know, we live such a rock n roll lifestyle!

We had a choice of the regular menu or the special Valentine’s menu, which was far too much food for us! As it turned out we got to try a few items off the special menu as it was, so we did pretty well.

We chose the Vegetarian Plate to share as a starter, followed by Saag Waala Gosht and a garlic and coriander naan for me and Lamb Tikka Biryani for hubby.

Poppadums and chutney at Copper and Spices, Folkestone

While we were waiting for our starter we were brought some mini poppadums and chutney, which were very tasty, and then the chef brought us out an amuse bouche each to try. Mine was venison and hubby’s was duck. They were delicious little parcels of mouth amusement! Plus, they were served on cute little heart slates

Remains of my starter at Copper and Spices Folkestone

The starter was also served on a heart-shaped slate, I feel a theme here! As you can see from the photo of our empty plate, I’ll never be a food blogger. I love food too much to remember to take a pic before digging in!

Here’s one I remembered though!
Dessert plate at Copper and Spices, Folkestone
Hubby and I shared this dessert because it sounded too good to pass up yet we were pretty stuffed. In the cocktail glass is saffron rice pudding, the heart-shaped dessert is carrot cake and of course there are strawberries dipped in chocolate. The rice pudding in particular was absolutely gorgeous. Saffron is such a fragrant spice.

Rachel Birchley at Copper and Spices, Folkestone

We had a lovely meal. The staff were very attentive and keen to help us understand the menu and the ingredients. I was even given a red rose to take home by the chef! All this made it even more embarrassing that we’d forgotten to get cash out for a tip! But, rest assured I shall be getting some money out and popping it through the door with a card! I can’t bear not leaving a tip when the service and food was so excellent. We’ll definitely be back to Copper and Spices.

Rachel x

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Lunch at the Lavender Tea House

By 2 February 2014 Cafe, Eating Out, Folkestone, Food, Life
Tea for one at the Lavender Tea House, Folkestone

The Lavender Tea House was a warm and cosy retreat from the hideous downpour outside. I’ve been meaning to give this place a go since it opened but it’s so teeny tiny, I’ve always felt a little intimidated. I don’t know why because it was lovely and the ladies running the place are lovely too!

There are maybe only 7 or 8 tables in this historic building. It has a real ‘shabby chic’ feel with light coloured walls, pastel accents, bunting and mismatched chairs.

Lavender Tea House Folkestone

Their tea menu is impressive, I went for the Blue Lady, which is named after the ghost in Pluckley, a Kent village that is supposedly the most haunted village in England. The tea was served on a wooden tray with vintage china. As it’s loose leaf tea you get a mini sieve to use too. My tea smelt delicious. It was very citrusy and also contained exotic flowers. There was no need for milk. I got three cups from the pot, not bad for £1.95!

Tea tray at Lavender Tea House

I was pretty hungry when I went in so I ordered a cheese sandwich. Not the most exciting choice, granted. Their menu contained jacket potatoes, soup, tarts (the pesto and goats cheese tart sounded particularly tempting), sausage and mash, and various breakfast options. My sandwich was scrummy. Two doorstop slices of soft, fresh brown bread containing cheddar cheese, sweet, homemade chutney and salad leaves. Also on the plate was homemade coleslaw, that had turned mauve from the red cabbage and a handful of cheese and onion crisps. The cutlery came in a jar adorned with a pretty pink ribbon tied in a bow.

The Lavender Tea House serves delicious food, tasty drinks and all at reasonable prices, bearing in mind it’s all fresh, homemade food. The surroundings are so pretty; it was a joy to while away some time holed up in the warm and dry. As I was leaving, some ladies arrived to set up for a baby shower. This cafe would be a lovely place for an intimate party.

I’ll definitely be back. Not sure it’s somewhere hubby would appreciate, probably best for a girls’ lunch with my sister.

Rachel x

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Saturday Brunch – Loaf Cafe in Sandgate, Kent

By 2 September 2013 Cafe

After a bit of a heavy night Friday, my friends and I were going to traipse down to McDonald’s for a greasy McMuffin but luckily one of my friends suggested we come down to a cafe in Sandgate, which turned out to be Loaf.  I’d heard of Loaf’s cakes and was very happy to give it a try.  It was a bit early for cake so I had a coffee and posh bacon roll instead!

I loved the decor inside Loaf.  The wall colour almost matched my kitchen/diner!  They are definitely rocking the shabby chic look, but the food is definitely not shabby!

Crispy bacon, tomato, greens and tomato chutney on a ciabatta at Loaf Sandgate

Crispy bacon, tomato, greens and tomato chutney on a ciabatta

Pretty coffee art of my flat white at Loaf Sandgate

Pretty coffee art of my flat white

After polishing off my bacon roll, I also scoffed down the rest of my friend’s avocado and haricot beans on toast that she couldn’t finish.  It was so tasty.  The truffle olive oil was delicious!

On the way out I had a little peek at the cakes.  Wow they looked fab.  Next time I’ll definitely be having of those!

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